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LCQ19: Assisting students with special educational needs

    Following is a question by the Hon Abraham Shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (December 12):


     On assisting students with special educational needs, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) in addition to implementing the existing and known measures, how the Government will further enhance the standard of local special education and provide appropriate assistance to the above students;

(b) whether the Task Group on Integrated Education in Mainstream Schools had, since its meeting on 20 March until November this year, held meetings on matters relating to the review of special education and the implementation of integrated education ("IE") in mainstream schools; if so, when the summary of the relevant discussions will be published; if not, why the Task Group has stopped holding such meetings; and

(c) whether the authorities will, following last year's review, conduct another comprehensive review on IE (including reviewing the integration of such students in schools, the effectiveness of professional/specialist support and the utilisation of school resources), so that further improvements can be made to upgrade the standard of local special education?



(a) The Education Bureau provides various services to support students with special educational needs (SEN). Apart from the provision of special schools, we also implement integrated education in ordinary schools to cater for their needs.  Our principal strategy is to provide these students with additional resources and support appropriate to their actual needs.  In other words, greater support and more resources will go to those students with greater special educational needs.  It is necessary for schools to merge the basic and additional resources and render appropriate school-based support for students with diverse needs in accordance with the five basic principles: early identification, early intervention, whole school approach, home-school cooperation and cross-sector collaboration.  Starting from the 2007/08 school year, we have embarked on a Teacher Professional Development Framework on Integrated Education to offer basic, advanced and thematic courses for teachers. Following the implementation of the new senior secondary (NSS) academic structure, students with SEN, whether studying in special schools or ordinary schools, are entitled to extend their learning and receive 3-year free senior secondary education.  To prepare for this as well as to enhance the quality of teaching in special education, the Education Bureau is undertaking a research and development project to work out the NSS curriculum for intellectually disabled children, and the relevant assessment guidelines and learning outcomes framework.  We will strengthen our professional support, teacher training as well as parent and public education, and keep exploring possible measures to further improve the quality of special education.

(b) The 9th and 10th meetings of the Task Force on Integrated Education in Mainstream Schools (the "Task Force") were held on 20 March and 26 November 2007 respectively. While the notes of the 9th meeting have been uploaded onto the Education Bureau¡¦s website, those for the 10th meeting are still under preparation.  Up to date, we have implemented various measures, such as strengthening school-based support, teacher training and parent education, and setting up arrangements for the early transfer of students' information among schools when students with SEN are transferred or promoted from one school to another.  At the 10th meeting of the Task Force held recently, we received positive feedback from schools and parents for some of the measures that we have put in place.  We will continue to collect views from the education sector and various stakeholders through this platform.

(c) The Education Bureau completed a review on integrated education in mid-2006 and had reported the updated progress and proposals to the Sub-committee to Study Issues Relating to the Provision of Boarding Places, Senior Secondary Education and Employment Opportunities for Children with Special Educational Needs set up under the House Committee of the Legislative Council throughout the period from April 2006 to February 2007.  On 21 July 2006, we submitted to the Sub-committee a document entitled "Update on the Review of Implementation of Integrated Education" (LC Paper No: CB(2)2773/05-06(01)), in which our direction and strategy for implementation of integrated education, as well as the arrangements and measures on funding model, teacher training, professional support and promotion of an inclusive culture were set out.  We also reported to the Sub-committee on the progress of these measures at its meeting on 22 January 2007 (LC Paper No: CB(2)876/06-07(01)).  We will continue to implement these measures and will keep reviewing their operation to ensure that timely and appropriate support services are rendered to students with SEN.

Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:00


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